Christmas will soon be upon us and many of us are enjoying socialising and looking forward to spending time with family and friends over the festive season, which is all the more reason for us to be vaccinated against flu and COVID-19.

It is so important to protect those that we love and care for and having our vaccinations is still the best way to protect ourselves and others, both from contracting the viruses, and if you should get either virus from serious illness.

If you haven’t yet had any doses of the vaccine and are eligible, please don’t be concerned about coming forward now – all that matters is that you get yourself protected. For more information about winter vaccination, visit:

By doing so you will also help the NHS as we have had extremely high demand across our health services over the weekend with rising numbers of patients presenting with flu and COVID-19, and parents of young children contacting NHS Services about scarlet fever.

Our hospitals are still under extreme pressure and I would also urge you if you do require medical help to choose the right service for your needs.

We would also urge everyone, if they are considering attending A&E, to ask themselves if the emergency department is the right place to go for the care they need. If you are not facing a life-threatening emergency please contact NHS 111 or visit NHS Online to find the best service for you or consider whether your GP, a pharmacist, or one of the county’s minor injury or urgent treatment centres might be able to help you.

We are delighted to have welcomed 24 new midwives at our Trust since September, with an additional midwife recruited who will begin working with us shortly. In addition, every single one of our 2021 Band 5 preceptorship midwives, meaning those who are newly registered and are being immersed into their professional role and into the ways of working at SaTH, have stayed on at the Trust.

We believe we are the only Trust in the region, and possibly in the country, to have achieved this, which is fantastic news. This tells us that midwives want to work at our Trust as we continue, as a team, to improve the service we provide for our patients.

Earlier this week, it was International Volunteer Day and we recognised the really important role our volunteers play within our hospitals. Recently we celebrated all their wonderful work during our Annual Recognition Week with a special thanks from our Chief Executive Louise Barnett and a lunch.

We are so grateful for our volunteers – our hospitals have 311 active volunteers and 51% of them are aged 25 or under.

They work across 50 different placements. This year our volunteers have given over 25,000 hours and 1,666 of these hours were spent supporting our Emergency Departments. Thank you for all your hard work.

If you want to find out more about volunteering visit our website